The commander of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Program (COBA) of the Ministry of the Interior and Police in La Altagracia, Roberto Antonio Silverio Castillo, denounced higher up military officers are making life impossible for his patrols. He said that generals, colonels and other high-ranking military officials allow businesses to stay open after curfew to continue to sell alcoholic beverages to their customers.
As reported in N Digital, Silverio Castillo denounced the situation when meeting with the governor of La Altagracia, Martina Pepén Santana. He said that in Bavaro, the COBA agents that patrol the commercial, touristic and residential district have clashed with officers that authorize that certain businesses stay open.
Silverio Castillo said that the enforcement of alcohol-vending hours is the task of the alcoholic drink control members. Still, they are facing a serious problem due to the resistance from high officials. He gave as a specific example of this situation that recently in La Romana, an Air Force colonel backed sales to continue at the “Tony Car Wash” center. He said when COBA agents attempted to enforce the rules, the high-ranking military officer submitted the patrol to obedience.
Silverio Castillo complained that efforts to enforce the curfew are undermined by the high-ranking military and police. He was blunt saying that the police and military operations by his agents are of no use in enforcing the curfew and the social distancing against the coronavirus, if high-ranking officers of those institutions promote violations of the law and norms established by the state.
He understands that the only way to enforce the curfew rules is for the authorities to oblige the high command to respect the rules or remove these persons from the National Police and the Armed Forces.
“We have faced cases, Madam Governor, of colonels who call the bosses to sponsor colmadones (grocery store-bars) and leave them open. He called for the immediate end to the practice. Silverio Casillo spoke during the meeting headed by the governor of La Altagracia, Martina Pepén Santana.
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16 October 2020